[-empyre-] Week 1 - Emerging Artistic and Theoretical Practices

micha cárdenas mmcarden at usc.edu
Sun Jun 3 03:10:28 EST 2012

For week 1, Zach and I have invited two digital humanities scholars to
get the month's discussion started with us.

The term new media is clearly problematic, and we wish to further
problematize and think through this. Cathy Davidson writes in Now You
See It that the paperback novel was once seen as new media, carrying
with it the same accusations that digital technologies today receive:
distracting, corrupting, pulling users into another world. Perhaps a
better term is queer digital media, as we are interested in the
intersections of queerness with digital technologies, networked
technologies and forms we may see as post-network or post-digital,
like alternate reality gaming. But digital media also seems to be
inadequate today, given developments in bio and nanotechnologies.

To say that Queer New Media is emerging is not to deny that it exists.
It is crucial to acknowledge important inspirations such as Shu Lea
Cheang, VNS Matrix, Subrosa, Cyberfeminist and new media artists and
theorists who have considered the emerging possibilities for
embodiment resulting from new technologies.

To start some discussion, here are a few questions:

What are the relations you see and understand today between queerness
and new media? What is it that makes you desire (or not desire)
engaging this topic?

Do you agree that queer new media or queer media art is an emerging
art movement? Or art/theory/political movement?

What current artists do you think are doing or have done queer new
media? Are you? Who are your inspirations?

This week's guests are:


Amanda Phillips (US) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English
with an emphasis in Feminist Studies at the University of California,
Santa Barbara. Her dissertation takes a vertical slice of the video
games industry to look at how difference is produced and policed on
multiple levels of the gamic system: discourse, hardware, software,
representation, and corporate practice. Her interests more broadly are
in queer, feminist, and antiracist discourses in and around
technoculture, popular media, and the digital humanities. In addition
to participating in the 2010 NEH-sponsored Humanities Gaming
Institute, Amanda has been a HASTAC Scholar since 2009 and hosted, in
conjunction with Margaret Rhee, an online HASTAC Forum on Queer and
Feminist New Media Spaces, the organization’s most-commented forum to
date. She has presented at the conferences for UCLA Queer Studies, the
American Studies Association, the Popular Culture Association, and the
Conference on College Composition and Communication, and has
participated in unconferences such as HASTAC’s Peer-to-Peer Pedagogies
Workshop, THATCamp SoCal, and the Transcriptions Research Slam. Most
recently, she has been involved with the #transformDH Collective's
efforts to encourage and highlight critical cultural studies work in
digital humanities projects.

Margaret Rhee (US/Korea) is a doctoral candidate in Ethnic Studies
with a designated emphasis in New Media Studies at the University of
California, Berkeley. She is conceptualist and co-lead of From the
Center, a feminist collective that aims to provide digital media
access and education for women inside and outside the jail setting as
authors, directors, and storytellers of their own lives. website:
http://ourstorysf.org/ She co-curated HASTAC Scholars "Queer and
Feminist New Media Spaces" with Amanda Phillips in 2010. Her interests
include posthumanism and race, Asian American cultural critique, and
queer theory.

Weclome! And let’s start discussing!

micha cárdenas
PhD Student, Media Arts and Practice, University of Southern California
Provost Fellow, University of Southern California

New Directions Scholar, USC Center for Feminist Research

MFA, Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego

Author, The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities,

blog: http://transreal.org

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